In StyleLikeU’s most recent episode of “What’s Underneath,” photographer, artist and feminist hero, Petra Collins, strips downs to her underwear, telling her story of body acceptance and the long road it took for her to get there. The ongoing video series features people in their “purest state,” stripping them down to the bare minimum with no makeup and very little clothing. Aiming to normalize the visibility of various forms of beauty, StyleLikeU presents viewers with the subjects’ bodies, in all their imperfect perfection.
Collins, most widely recognized for her “period power” illustration on an American Apparel tee, is always wonderfully outspoken when it comes to female issues. In the video, sharing her personal struggle with an eating disorder as a teen, Collins talks about the double standards of censorship, femininity and why she is pro-body hair. Growing up in a “male-gazey” culture that fed her little else besides Paris Hilton, the Pussycat Dolls, CosmoGirl and Seventeen, she tells viewers that society caused her to hate the skin she was in. “I needed to program myself to feel comfortable with my body, so I stopped shaving my body hair,” Collins said. “Women buy things everyday to get rid of something that naturally grows on our bodies.”
Collins’ main message is simple: women don’t need to play into society’s airbrushed perceptions of beauty to feel beautiful. Watch the full video, below.